Plus ça change

Yesterday’s history post included a reference to anti-Chinese hysteria in Dunedin in 1888:

A meeting in Dunedin presided over by the mayor unanimously called for a ban on further Chinese migrants. . . 

As work on the goldfields became harder to find, anti-Chinese prejudice resurfaced. Some spoke of a conspiracy to overrun the colony with ‘Coolie-slaves’ who were ‘ignorant, slavish, and treacherous’. Canada and Australia had imposed entry taxes on Chinese immigrants and New Zealand followed suit via the Chinese Immigrants Act of 1881. A poll tax of £10 (equivalent to $1650 today) was introduced and ships arriving in New Zealand were restricted to one Chinese passenger per 10 tons of cargo. . . 

Fast forward 109 years. Immigrants in general and Chinese in particular are once more being used as political scapegoats by vote-hungry desperates.

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2 Responses to Plus ça change

  1. Paul Scott says:

    We’ll see how the votes for the tratorous sickly vote for Co-Governace National Government gets on. We are going to thrash some sense into your arrogant, Immigration for GDP, to hell with people who can’t afford houses, Corporate sucking establishment. We are going to kick your arses hard.

  2. Will says:

    It seems Chinese immigrants are big National supporters so I’d be careful with the “vote-hungry desperates” label. Could backfire.

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